We recognize that many of the very effective medications that we prescribe for psychiatric illnesses can cause serious medical problems, including weight gain, increased insulin levels, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol and serum lipid profiles. The Federal Drug Administration has assigned formal “boxed warnings” to many medications used for psychiatric illnesses for these and other potential problems, and endorsed guidelines to follow to monitor for these conditions.
Many of these guidelines include procedures not usually performed in psychiatric offices, including weighing and measuring the abdominal girth of our patients, evaluating metabolic laboratory studies, and managing the medical problems that may be identified by this monitoring. These procedures are time consuming and specialized, and thus cannot be conveniently completed during a traditional psychiatric appointment.
We have formed the Metabolic Clinic within Live Well Psychiatry to make tracking our patient’s physiological health as painless as possible. Having these medical services available in the office means less work for patients, and provides them with a more complete treatment.
Patients will be referred to the Metabolic Clinic when prescribed any of the medications that require ongoing monitoring.
Appointments with the Metabolic Clinic will usually be separate from the usual psychiatric appointments and will proceed like any general medical appointment. The frequency of the appointments and the variables monitored will be established by approved guidelines. We have designed the clinic carefully to ensure that the expenses for these services are modest. Depending on the medication that is being monitored, however, the expense for the initial labs may be significant. Please be aware that the complete panel will seldom if ever be necessary again.
Be sure to have your laboratory work done before your first Metabolic Clinic appointment.